Luke shows a couple of fights Jesus had over the Sabbath. Jesus was often criticised for breaking the Sabbath but as Michael Eaton writes “There is not the slightest hint anywhere in the gospels that he ever disobeyed anything that was required by the Mosaic legislation.” Jesus kept the law, but no more than He had to! He refused to keep the extra traditions. The disciples and He got into trouble for eating corn, picked as they walked along. They were not breaking the Mosaic requirements, but they were breaking the additions. Jesus isn’t bothered about breaking traditions.
A little later Jesus deliberately heals on the Sabbath – he could have waited a day but didn’t! It kick started the Jews wanting to kill Him. “They begin to plan murder over the unrighteousness of healing someone and the sin of chewing corn on a walk!” (Eaton) Bonkers! Legalism produces some strange fruit.
Sabbath keeping was a boundary marker for being a Jew. You could tell Jews apart because of the food laws, Sabbath and circumcision. Jesus brought some radical changes.
- Food laws abolished
- Circumcision not needed – Christianity is a heart thing
- Sabbath treated with indifference by the early church – who makes the worship day off Saturday?
The boundary marker for being part of the people of God is the Spirit now. We are not under law, we are under grace and we keep the “law of the Spirit” (Romans 8:2 …through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.)
Being under grace not law is not a lower standard of godliness but will produce a higher one Matt 5:21-48. Grace teaches us to say no to unrighteousness. Grace goes beyond the law in so many ways. And it produces better fruit. if you obey the law of tithing, the most you will give is 10%. Grace causes us to excel in the grace of giving! In Luke 6 we can see that grace and the Spirit transforms us on the inside and causes a good overflow from our mouths Luke 6:45
People will know we are followers of Christ not because we keep food laws, circumcision or the Sabbath, but because we have the Spirit – the main outworking of which will be “Love for one another” John 13:34-35
Are you going on being filled with the Spirit so love is more and more evident?